Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life With a Picky Eater

Being the Mom of a picky eater often causes me to feel like a parental failure. There have been times that I have stared with open envy at someone else’s child as they wolfed down some exotic food I could not even PAY my son to try. Believe me, I have made many unsuccessful bribery attempts. My son could have retired by now.

It’s exhausting. Nearly every meal is a battle and rarely do I feel victorious. It’s also embarrassing! There – I said it. I feel judged by other parents (and wait staff) when my son orders his meal “When Harry Met Sally” style.

On a positive note, there are two things that make me feel better about the situation:
1) With each passing year (my son is 8), there is some improvement. His repertoire of foods continues to grow, albeit slowly. While other parents are celebrating a homerun, we are high-fiving a bite of green pepper.
2) I know I am not alone in this seemingly never-ending struggle. I know this because there are countless books and articles on the subject and I know they are not being written for just for me. Also – I have seen the cute sectioned plates out there and again – I know I am not the only one buying them.

As with anything else in life, there are good days and bad days. On a good day, my son might voluntarily (without coercion or promise of reward) eat a full portion of calamari. What?! Why?! On a bad day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner might consist of all carbs, all the time. Plus a multi-vitamin!

That being said, there are a few things I have learned through these mealtime challenges. I am not the “picky eater whisperer” I was certain I could be. Apparently my son is immune to the gold standard methods that claim to transfer any finicky child into one that begs for “more broccoli please” within one week or your money back. When all other advice failed, I decided to just RELAX. Interestingly, I have found that the more I ease off, the more my son’s palate expands. This too shall pass and hopefully one day we will look back on this time and laugh. Or at least embarrass him with the tales.

Coming up next time: Eat it or Wear it and other mealtime fun!

1 comment:

  1. I EMPATHIZE with ya.
    Our son likes meat and potatoes and a few other stand alone veggies.
    ~casseroles are alien to him~
    Spaghetti is the exception. He loves it.
    PB&J is ok w/ him too.

    ~HC 0_o